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Multichine 26C

MC 26C Geko is shown in a Turkish TV nautical program

Once again a boat from our design is getting ready to be launched in Istanbul, Turkey. This time the boat in question is Geko, the MC26C built by the couple Ömer and Firuzan Kirkal.

We had already published an article in our news about Geko, with an extensive gallery of photos of the boat in its various stages of construction. This time we were delighted to see in the videos that she is nearly finished, all done with the highest standard of quality

The MC26C is one of the fittest sailboats of its size to accomplish long-range ocean passages. Its interior volume is quite sufficient for a small family to live aboard for long stretches, while being affordable enough for an amateur builder of limited income to cope with the costs of building it. Rendered image by www.ideebr.com

The Turkish TV has a traditional program about nautical sports, much in the style of the famous French equivalent, Thalassa, which we were informed is very popular in that country.

Turkey is becoming a favourite site for international yachtsmen who cruise Mediterranean waters, be it for its affordable prices, or by the friendliness of its citizens, as the well known cruiser/writer Fatty Goodlander stressed in his article in the March 2011 issue of the Cruising World Magazine: "The prime reason is that Turkey is a wonderful, dynamic, fast-growing country with a robust economy and a friendly people".

No wonder sailing is so popular there, allowing a granted audience for a specialized program on commercial TV.

The last February program was about amateur construction. The presenter invited three amateur constructors, one of them being our client, Ömer. Since the video is spoken in Turkish, of course, we hadn't the slightest idea of what was being said, except when Ömer cited Roberto Barros Yacht Design as the authors of the project. We also guess contreplac/epoxy means plywood/epoxy. However, as the Chinese saying states, a figure is worth a thousand words, and perhaps a video might be worth a million. For that matter we believe the couple is actually very proud of their accomplishment, and that the building, in spite of being performed in their home garden, didn't result in divorce; on the contrary, it seemed to mean a mutual achievement. This, however, we can only speculate based on the scenes in the videos, especially for the grand finale, when Firuzan goes to the kitchen to bring two cups of a beverage, one for Ömer, who was sanding the hull. Next he lays his sanding pad somewhere else and the Kirkals leave the working shed embraced in a tender hug.

Ok, this might be part of the script arranged before-hand, but, never mind. A wife prepared to sand glass fibre is the dream come true for any amateur builder. If the videos below were part of the MC26C blurb, they couldn't be more adequate, except for missing subtitles in English.

Firuzan is a hard worker. She is responsible for good part of Geko's construction. Here she is squeezing air bubbles from the still unsettled fibreglass encapsulation of the superstructure

It is possible to observe all phases of Geko's construction in the photo gallery already published in our news. However the three recent videos show how she actually became, now that the work is nearly completed, missing only the final touches of finishing, like upholstery and internal decoration.


Multichine 26C class is spreading its horizons

This news came from Istambul, Turkey. Ömer Kircal, a client of ours who is building a MC26C, sent us a slide show about the construction of his almost finished sailboat, Evrensel, (meaning universal in Turkish).

The slides are particularly appealing because they cover all phases of the construction, from the building of a makeshift shed to the attachment of a foam insulated ceiling liner under the trunk coach-roof.

We really appreciated watching the photos. We found them so didactic that we replayed them various times until we could remember by heart every single detail shown. The subtitles are written in Turkish, but, for those like us who don't understand Turkish, why will anybody need reading subtitles for such self explanatory figures?

Ömer, with the assistance of his wife and friends, accomplished a wonderful job. For us from B & G yacht Design, Ömer's achievement is quite rewarding. At first place because he found the plans comprehensive and well detailed enough not to need extra assistance from us. More important yet, is the high quality of the work accomplished throughout the construction. Last but not least, what a nice interior does Evrensel possess! Thanks to the Kircal's family good taste, it is hard to believe it's an amateur construction.

Click on images to enlarge them


Multichine 26C 2008.

Made in Australia

This article is simultaneously published in www.yachtdesign.com.br and in www.amateurboatbuilding.com

Our office is operating from Perth, Western Australia, since May 2007. In 2006, when we still worked in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we developed the plans for amateur construction of the Multichine 26C, the smallest cruising sail boat from our line of stock plans that we consider being capable of performing any kind of long distance cruise, even a round the world trip, if wished. This project when introduced stirred great enthusiasm among cruising yachtsmen, and presently there are dozens of MC26C being built in many different countries.

We reckon that the great interest for the plans was due to the unique spaciousness of her interior. In these times of short money and skyrocketing prices of production boats, it is not difficult to understand the appeal of home construction, especially if the boat in question arises a high degree of confidence and is suitable for living aboard for long stretches, besides being intended for blue-water sailing.

All compartments are equally comfortable

As a rule of thumb the amateur builder obtains great pleasure from the construction of his dream boat. In the early stages of the construction he is already dreaming with the pleasures his future yacht will offer him, and this probably is why most boats built by do-it-yourself enthusiasts are in average superior in general quality and durability to the series produced equivalents, and the Multichine 26C is no exception. The best home-built boats seldom are for sale. For their owners, just the thought of selling them is a sacrilege, like intending to sell a member of the family.

Now that the first units of the class are getting close to being completed, we decided to introduce a revised version of the 26C plans, this time our work coming from Australia. The changes from the original plans are few but they nevertheless will turn the MC26C still more functional. We changed the angle of the heads door wall, which at first wasn't parallel to the centre line. Doing so, we made the shower box a much more comfortable area, improving the maximum headroom from 1.82m to 1.85m and increasing the stepping area of the grated shower sump floor.

The best way to provide running hot water at the MC 26C shower is to install a water heater under the navigation table the closest possible to the heads wall, using the engine's  fresh water cooling system to heat the bath water. To have aboard hot shower facility working as nicely as the one we have in our home bathrooms is a fancy really appreciated by the whole crew, especially children during those chilly winter days. The hot water can easily be extended to the heads vanity basin and to the galley sink, but even though the MC26C has large fresh water tank capacity, we always recommend moderation in water consumption aboard. For those who consider water heater installation too expensive for the boat's budget, we suggest a simple solution to substitute this expensive gear: the installation of a two-tails 12.5mm flanged fitting on the heads coach-roof. An inexpensive sun-shower attached to the boom is linked to the upper tail piece, and the shower hose with an in-line ball valve is attached to the ceiling side of the flanged fitting. This costs peanuts and when the weather is cast, it is just enough to heat water on the stove and fill the sun-shower. Of course in a twenty-six foot sail boat hot bath inside the heads is not practical when underway, but then there is the transom platform, and besides, the sun-shower hangs on any place, like the backstay for instance. 

This change required an enlargement on the navigation table wall, extending it from the navigation table front face to the heads door wall in its new position. This small corner thus created is the right place to install a cabin heater, something so prized in colder climates, and for which no provision had been made in the former version of the design.

Multichine 26C interior, model 2008

A description of the MC 26C layout should begin with the after cabin. The amazing volume of this compartment with its residential-sized double berth and the exclusive sofa at the cabin's hall is hard to be matched by other twenty-six footers. We already pointed out how spacious the heads became after the change in its layout, but it's worth mentioning that abaft the toilet compartment there is a huge stowing space with easy access from the boat interior. The L-shaped galley with sink, fridge or ice- box and two burners stove with oven is quite handy for those intending to live aboard. The saloon, navigation table and second double berth crown the interior arrangement, balancing all compartments with the same level of functionality. For that matter we are confident that this is why the MC26C design fascinated so many sailors at the first hour. Now with the new improvements we expect a new flow of enthusiasm among potential amateur builders and cruising sailors.

The MC26C is a lucky design indeed. The approval of our builders about their boats' interior layout and other aspects of the plans surprised us. One of them is preparing his boat for a round the world trip around the Austral Ocean by way of the three capes, which demonstrates his confidence in the project. We are ready to give him our most eloquent support, since we developed the plans having in mind people like him, who can't afford purchasing the expensive models intended for ultimate adventures available in the market.

The MC26C cozy interior with its cabin heater

The reason for the MC26C being easy to build and, when completed, being of such high quality, resides in the method of construction specified for the plans. Contrary to most other multi-chine stock plans available for plywood construction, instead of stitching the hull's outside panels and then installing partitions and furniture, we specify building the transverse bulkheads which will provide the hull shape and structure at the work-bench. We consider a good solution the stitch and glue boat building method for smaller crafts, but above a certain size like the MC26C, adopting the so-called ply-glass building method brings innumerous advantages.

To start the construction, no matter if you are a layman or an expert in wood work, it is always advisable to employ the workshop bench, where it is much easier to obtain a smooth finish than when doing the same job in a much more awkward position in the interior of the boat. During this stage, either the amateur or the professional have the chance to train their skills and bring the part being built to the highest level of finishing.  However the most striking advantage of building the transverse structure first, and only then planking the hull, is the huge saving in cost of epoxy resin. Wood cleats are incomparably cheaper than epoxy resin and the amount of epoxy necessary to fillet the whole structure to the interior and to join the panels at chines is absolutely disgusting.
In the case of the MC 26C, twelve bulkheads or semi-bulkheads are prefabricated in the work-bench, as well as a cold moulded stem piece, built on top of a lamination table. As those parts, one by one, are being concluded, the builder feels a gratifying sensation of accomplishment and pride, and from then on this feeling will be ever increasing.

The assembled structure over the building grid

Those pre-fabricated structural components are not difficult to make. The process consists basically in bonding cleats to plywood panels, employing in most cases butt joints. Full size patterns for the construction of these bulkheads are provided with the plans. Once those pre-fabricated components are concluded, they are assembled over a building base, which in the technical jargon is called strongback, or building grid. Then the sheer and chine clamps, as well as longitudinal stringers are fixed in their notches, already opened when the bulkheads were fabricated, removing the slightest chance of misalignment during this operation. The next steps in the construction are sheathing the structure with plywood and then encapsulating the whole hull with a thick layer of fibreglass.  At this point of the construction it is already evident that the whole complex is extremely sturdy, and it is this sense of robustness that arises the immense feeling of confidence in the builder's mind.

When the hull is turned upside, the remaining of the work is intuitive, since all the transverse walls and furniture components are already in place, because they were already made at the work-bench. Then the work proceeds linearly until the interior is completed and the superstructure is attached to the structural members. Once more the whole outside surface is encapsulated with fiberglass, this time overlapping in about 50mm the hull's fiberglass sheathing, this way generating an incredibly strong monoblock structure.

Plywood panels attached to the deck beams.

At this point of the construction the builder is assured that his work has been successful, and from then on all else in the construction will be a lesser challenge.

Once the sanding and fairing is concluded and a finishing coat of paint is applied all over the boat's external surface, fittings, keel and rudder are installed and the launching party may be scheduled.

The MC 26C is fitted with a transom-hung rudder and tiller steering. This is the most reliable and cost saving solution. It was in our plans to provide an affordable and easy to build cruising sail boat, and providing the boat with tiller steering were in our original plans. Other appealing characteristics of the project are its long and unobstructed cockpit, good internal natural ventilation, a leak-proof mast-step on coach-roof  and an ample anchor rode compartment.
With moderate draught, high vanishing angle of positive stability and good all around performance,  the MC 26C is the boat we designed to bring new people to the fascinating world of amateur boat building followed by ambitious cruising plans.

The Multichine 26C

Rendered images: www.IDEEbr.com


Multichine 26C. The right size of boat for amateur construction. Part II

From time to time we choose one of our most recent designs to test some new ideas.
This time we intended to experiment installing electric motors for auxiliary propulsion,  and needed to choose one of our models to try so.

This is a new trend that is generating great enthusiasm among sailors all over the world and we wouldn’t like to be alien to this new mood. Electric motors are already standard equipment in many commercially produced sailing cats, like the Lagoon for instance, the pioneer in adopting this system, and now followed by many other production multi-hull builders.
We needed to pick one of our stock plans under construction to support with design specifications and next to follow at close distance the process of installation.
A Multichine 26C builder, an electronic engineer friend of ours, liked our suggestion and decided to install electric propulsion in his boat.

Multichine 26C hull built in Turkey by an amateur. courtesy of Omer Kircal

Click on images to enlarge them

At the present time, like most radical changes in technology, this shift represents an improvement in many aspects, but it still contains some challenges to be overtaken. The amount of amperage required to propel a yacht for long distances is significant, and since this energy must be stored in battery banks, D.C. circuitry is required, and some efficient means of providing energy must be available to replenish the banks, as electricity is being consumed. Up to here there is nothing new in this, except that voltage can’t be too low if enough power is to be available for adequate boat speed.

Presently the most commonly system adopted in sailing yachts is diesel/electric, the main source of electricity being provided by a conventional genset. Other sources of electricity may also contribute for energy supply, like solar panels, wind generators, and the best of all, the very electric motor, which becomes a generator when the boat is at speed under sail.

Multichine 26 Irun

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Taking into account cost, as is the case with the MC26C, a low budget boat to build, we are suggesting employing a small, cheap to buy, gasoline generator. . This generator would be activated whenever necessary, and the risk of flattening the batteries bank when using the motor for long stretches would be eliminated. If money is no problem, and most of us will agree that money is no problem, but solution, a standard small diesel genset may be installed in the engine compartment, since the electric motor is so compact that there is room for both there. This is the perfect choice, except for the fact that the investment in acquiring an electric motor plus the genset surpasses the cost of a single diesel engine. However, all loads required for an adequate functioning of a modern cruising boat, like refrigeration for instance, will be supplied by the generator, besides having available A.C. current when required, and as a surplus, hot running water for bathing and the galley.

Considering that cost of fuel will probably skyrocket in the near future, and that the heating of the planet will make usage of electricity ecologically correct, this change of system is a good option for those who are going to invest in such a critical equipment as auxiliary propulsion is.
We suggested to our friend other ecologically convenient changes in the MC26Cplans.  One of them was to make a double-wall coach-roof over the cabin trunk, instead of the single one specified in the original plans. First the original 10mm plywood sheathing would be substituted by a 6mm plywood. Then above this, 25mm transverse and longitudinal structure would be laminated on top, at exactly the same places where beams and stringers were placed below. Finally another 6mm plywood layer would be bonded over this structure. The space between layers would be filled with polyurethane foam, after protecting the internal surface of the plywood panels with epoxy resin. Doing this, the cabin becomes 27mm higher than in the original plans, headroom remains the same internally, electrical wiring can be easily hidden inside the core and insulation of the boat interior is dramatically enhanced.

Multichine 26 Anauê:

Fibreglass encapsulation of Multichine 26 Xangô.
Click on images to enlarge them

Another idea we gave him was to change the angle of the heads door wall, making it parallel to the centreline as a continuation of the companionway wall. This would bring two main advantages: headroom and space in the shower area of the heads would be increased and the transverse bulkhead facing the navigation table would be enlarged, generating a vertical wall from floorboard to ceiling where a cabin heater would find an ideal place to be installed. Another small trick we suggested to our builder was the installation of a 12.5mm  pipe with a tail piece above and a ball valve bellow the heads’ coach-roof . Hanging a sun shower on the boom when in the tropics, or a thermal bag in colder climate, and joining them with a hose to the tail piece, it is just necessary to install a telephone type shower inside the heads to make an efficient and simple shower facility.

Since our friend is building his boat with his own hands, he soon will be sailing with a degree of comfort seldom to be found in a twenty six foot sail boat, besides leaving behind all the fuss and expensiveness related with fuel engines.
Just in time; we advised him to use led illumination throughout the boat for maximum  energy saving.

Photos of the Ozeco Drive
courtesy of OZ MARINE

Click on images to enlarge them

Multichine 26 C. The right size of boat for amateur construction.

The MC 26C uses the capital letter C in its name as an unequivocal reference to her cruising abilities. Actually she was conceived to be one of the most oceanic cruising boats of her size intended to be built within the most economical budget possible, without jeopardizing structural integrity, comfort and seaworthiness.
This design was the result of an intensive survey with which we have been involved for the last few years.
Our goal was to pinpoint the minimum length over all necessary for a sail boat to have adequate headroom in the saloon, which according to the opinion of most of our clients, is at least 1,85m, and so the whole design was developed to fit this requirement.
Twenty-six feet from stem to rudder stock was the shortest length we could figure to fulfill this requirement without loosing adequate proportionality compared to other successful yachts of about the same capabilities.
Obtaining the right figures to complete the MC26C specifications was made easy when we compared two of our most successful designs for amateur construction; one just below her size, the Multichine 23, the most popular of all our stock plans with hundreds of boats built or under construction; and the slightly larger than the MC26C, Multichine 28, our design that represents an authentic revolution in home building stock plans among potential blue water cruising sailors.
The MC23 is an excellent deep sea sail boat but she lacks the essential headroom for living aboard for prolonged stretches. At the other hand, the MC28, an extremely comfortable boat for her size, still is above the minimum price to be considered as a very low budget sail boat to be built.
For the MC26C we used practically the same lines employed in the MC23, applying the superb MC28 interior layout to its accommodations. The result was surprisingly appealing and now that the plans are available, many potential customers enquire if the MC26C isn’t actually bigger than the MC28. No wonder just a short while after its introduction we had so many builders in various countries starting the construction of this new design.

The MC26C interior layout concept is practically the same adopted for the MC28. The chosen layout is, in our way of thinking, the best arrangement for this size of boat.
We placed a double berth abaft the collision bulkhead that makes the anchor rode well, prolonging the upholstery level of the bunks into the dinette so that there is no discontinuity between the saloon and this double berth. This arrangement gives a favorable impression of spaciousness for the whole interior, besides providing excellent air circulation throughout the whole cabin.
The V-shaped dinette has its table attached to the mast supporting pillar and to complete the arrangement there are a series of lockers behind the seat rests. There are also two large storage compartments, as well as two water tanks, under the dinette seats, so that the space in the whole saloon is fully used.
The galley is as complete as one can find in a boat this size. Placed to portside, it has the gimbaled stove fitted in a recess abaft the galley counter and close to the companionway, the most ventilated area inside the cabin.
The galley counter is provided with a well dimensioned sink and an ice-box or electrical refrigerator is fitted next to the topside.
The navigation table is at the opposite side to the galley counter and is separated by a bulkhead from the boat’s heads, where the headroom is almost the same as that in the saloon.
A spacious after cabin with an entrance hall with a sofa and  locker behind the backseat complete the interior layout, the coziest we can imagine for a 26 foot hull.

The deck layout is highlighted by a remarkably spacious cockpit, well protected from breaking seas by a cabin trunk and ergonometric coamings. The trunk side walls are provided with four opening ports for maximum ventilation when in port and water tightness when sailing in bad weather and the ports are shut.
The main sheet traveler is located before the companionway hatch, abaft of which we recommend the installation of a folding dodger that should extend to the front cockpit seat, to provide some shelter to the crew sitting next to the cabin trunk after wall.
We opted for a stern hung rudder with tiller bar for maximum reliability and low cost. This rudder is surrounded by a boarding platform with a triangular aperture for the rudder blade. The mast steps on the coach-roof, so any possibility of leaks is eliminated.
The fore deck is provided with a 500mmx500mm hatch   and ahead of it we specified an oversized mooring cleat.

The top-rigged sail plan is the cleanest and strongest we can design. With a pair of lowers and one upper shroud, the mast is very rigid and can stand bad weather in all sorts of sailing conditions. Actually the uppers make a cross-shaped support for the mast top panel, while the four lowers make an X-shaped support at spreaders level.
The sail inventory is simple and efficient. She has an overlapping genoa for light winds condition, a high clew jib and a storm jib. A furling device is a good option but it isn’t indispensable, since the working jib may be employed for most of the time. An asymmetric spinnaker may be hoisted from the pin that holds the two anchor rode roller sheaves.
The main sail has a moderate foot, which makes jibing easier and has two reefing lines in the spacing of three.
This is a practical idea for cruising purposes, since although the boat might eventually be short canvassed, the boat can do without a try-sail, providing the main sail cloth is dimensioned to stand the bad weather condition which would require hoisting a try-sail.

The MC26C has a very efficient hull shape with a really large transom and waterlines with a fine entry. The fact that she has a polygonal cross section is hardly noticed, since the adequate number of chines makes the hull to resemble a round bilge one.
The plans provide two options for the fin-keel. The most practical to build is a steel box with lead poured inside, and the most sophisticated one is a cast iron fin-keel with a flat bottom bulb at its tip. With plenty of ballast for the sail area and a large beam at the water line, the MC26C is very stable.
The transom hung hinged rudder is easy to be built, its integrity is bullet proof and it is handy to be maintained.
Tiller steering is the simplest and most reliable system available and allows for the installation of a cockpit auto-pilot, the cheapest and more convenient way to self-steer

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The secret of the construction of the MC26C resides in its extreme simplicity when building the transverse bulkheads. As they are built at the work bench and their outside contours are given in the full size patterns provided with the plans, there is no difficulty in assembling them.
Standing these bulkheads on their positions over the building grid is an easy task and joining them with the chine and sheer clamps is also a straightforward operation, since the notches where they fit are opened when fabricating the bulkheads or semi-bulkheads. The structural keel is laminated directly over these bulkheads and joins to the laminated stem.
After beveling the whole structure, sheathing the structure with marine-ply is ready to be started. This work is facilitated by the employment of thin (6mm) plywood panels, which are glued and screwed over the structural members. When the construction reaches this stage, the builder can already see how the hull looks like, and this is a great incentive for proceeding with the work. Next the hull fibreglass sheathing is applied and this is explained in detail, with a whole chapter of the building manual covering this issue.
After turning the hull upside, the construction of the interior is quite straightforward, since all the transverse walls and furniture partitions were prefabricated at the workbench.
The joiner work specified for the MC26 C is the simplest possible. Butt joints are thoroughly employed and trims are simply bonded to panels at their edges, so even an inexperienced amateur is capable of accomplishing a good quality job.
Deck and cabin trunk follow the same process explained for hull construction and this time the glass encapsulation and fairing are much easier to be accomplished than the equivalent work on the hull outside surface.
Other operations are saturating the interior with epoxy, installing the plumbing, electrical and propulsion systems, painting the whole boat and installing fittings, rudder and keel, all these subjects fully explained in the building manual.

This is the Multichine26C, a boat intended for amateur construction with a standard of quality seldom matched by series production boats.